LuvTrip Romantic Getaways

Best French Polynesia Destination Weddings

by Jane Cassie

Tahiti –It’s the destination where the artist Paul Gauguin sought solitary recluse, where actor Marlon Brando escaped the Hollywood race and where the H.M.S. Bounty crew mutinied so they could remain on these silky-fine shores. It’s also a spot that’s synonymous with paradise. It comes as no surprise that many matrimony-making couples are also drawn to these South Pacific gems.

Where exactly is this idyllic Eden?

Tahiti is located south of the equator, just below Hawaii, and about halfway between Australia and America. It’s also home of Papeete, the capital city of French Polynesia.

Why is Tahiti a marital magnet?

Even though Tahitian weddings aren’t legally recognized in the United States, the customary ceremony, compete with Polynesian flare has become a popular secondary pledging scene. The real marriage deal, even if just a simple civil ceremony, has to be signed and sealed back home, before you leave North America. But once you’ve reached this exotic destination, you may want to re-celebrate and re-state your vows. One of the traditional services will certainly leave lasting memories, whether it’s an elaborate affair, or an intimate twosome ‘I Do.’

Which Islands should you try and why?

The island of Tahiti

This landing point and main hub is where your dream wedding vacation will begin. When you step off the plane, ukulele yodelers will provide a welcoming serenade and before you know it you’ll be leied (with a necklace of gardenias) and sipping a Tahitian drink from a coconut half shell.

Tahiti, appropriately coined The Island of Love, is the largest island of them all. Rain forests drape its central core and wondrous waterfalls spill from its 6,000 foot-high peaks. Dairy farms, crops of taro and citrus groves cloak the interior and a number of sandy beaches ring the shoreline. Some on the island’s south-west side are as white as sugar; others on the north east coast can be as black as coal.

The busy capital of Papeete offers everything from banks to boutiques and the friendly residents divinely integrate their tropical culture with French sophistication. Here’s just one Tahiti treat where you can re-tie the wedded knot.

InterContinental Resort Tahiti

There are two wedding options at this premier posh spot that’s backed by thirty acres of tropical gardens and fronted by a shimmering lagoon. Imagine a pristine sandy beach, soft music by a Polynesian trio and a Tahitian priest who blesses your special union. This ‘Intimate Tahitian Ceremony’ comes complete with a tapa wedding certificate and an embracing tifaifai (handmade wedding quilt). The cost of this service starts at around $1,100. Throw in Tahitian entertainers, a bottle of champagne and a bed of flowers in your honeymoon haven and for the cost of $1,500, you’ll have the ‘Traditional Tahitian Wedding Ceremony.’ Above photo compliments of InterContinental Resort.

The island of Moorea

This fifty-three square mile isle, just a half hour catamaran ride (or ferry) away from Tahiti, is home to lush plantations, more whimsical waterfalls, and the legendary Opunohu and Cook Bays. Although less developed than Tahiti, several properties snuggle up to its sandy beaches. This authentic village is another venue where wedding promises can be shared.

Tiki Village, Moorea

You’ll feel and be treated like royalty when booking this authentic Polynesian Village ceremony. After arriving via outrigger canoe, you’ll be crowned in a lie of flowers and entertained by native talent, while the village chief conducts your blessed event. After this special occasion, you’ll be hoisted onto a royal throne, and with the help of four strong warriors, paraded around the village. It’s a grand procession and an unforgettable way to celebrate this special occasion! Tahitian dancers, a romantic lagoon cruise and champagne add more regal touches for the approximate cost of $1,500. Photo compliments of Tiki Village.

The island of Bora Bora

This isle has been coined by James Michener as the most beautiful in the world. Its emerald peaks rise in rich contrast to the turquoise lagoons and amber sunsets cloak the clear skies at the end of most days. Although even less populated than the other two, there’s no shortage of wedding dreamscapes, one of them being Hotel Bora Bora.

Hotel Bora Bora

Although this first resort on Bora Bora dates back to the early 1960s, it has been updated many times to meet its pedigree standards. While occupying the entire Pointe Raititi peninsula the locale is second to none. Breathtaking lagoon vistas are enjoyed from all angles and both Mt. Otemanu and Mt. Pahia provide a dramatic backdrop. What a fabulous place to express your love?! What an exotic spot to celebrate your togetherness. And, like the other Tahiti treats, what a dreamy destination to get re-married again! The traditional beach Polynesian ceremony, complete with authentic entertainers and a Tahitian priest will set you back approximately $1,100.

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